If you have been in e-commerce long, you already know how it goes. Activating coupon codes online or opting into deals is the new pushing through crowds on Black Friday.
The market is wide open for a boost in holiday e-commerce sales, particularly during Cyber 5 weekend. But the uptick in online shopping this time of year also means increased competition, supply chain overload, and a higher risk of site crashes.
For sellers looking to tap into more than $281 billion across the world this Cyber Week, preparation is key. There’s still plenty of time to act and implement small tactics for big impact.
How to Prep for Cyber 5 Weekend
- Why It’s All About Cyber 5
- 5 Things You Can Still Do for a Winning Cyber 5 Weekend
- Making the Most of Cyber 5 2022
Need a boost to your Q4 cash flow? We’ve got you covered. From affordable multi-currency payments to flexible working capital, SellersFi is the funding partner you need to scale this holiday season (and beyond).
Why It’s All About Cyber 5
Cyber 5 is the long weekend that includes Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Sunday, and of course, Cyber Monday. In 2023, the dates for Cyber 5 are Thursday, November 23rd to Monday, November 27th.
In the world of e-commerce, Cyber 5 is a pretty big deal. 37% of shoppers reported that they shopped more online than in-store in 2023. Beyond that, about 76% of buyers made more than one shopping trip across the weekend.
While holiday shopping may have traditionally started just after Thanksgiving, the dates are moving earlier and earlier year after year. In fact, many are citing Amazon Prime Big Deal Days as the “new” start to holiday shopping.
Without missing a beat, many e-commerce sellers and platforms have bumped up their sale days, offering deals as early as the first week of October. But that doesn’t mean the November to December shopping period is cooling.
But if you’re slow getting started this year, don’t worry! You’ve still got time to prep for a profitable Cyber 5.
5 Things You Can Still Do for a Winning Cyber 5 Weekend
#1. Revamp your emails.
As Cyber 5 gets closer, it’s time to up your communication game. This includes your marketing emails, returns communications, follow up with past customers, and more.
Approximately 91% of people open their email inboxes daily. This is just one of the reasons email marketing has proven to be 40 times more effective than social media. Getting your email game in order is always a great strategy to prime your customers for Cyber 5. Email marketing is one of the places in your business where small changes can make a big difference.
Here are a few ideas to improve your email marketing and communication strategy:
- Launch holiday-themed emails. If possible, link them to any existing social media or influencer marketing campaigns. Keep in mind when launching holiday themes that you should be inclusive of all holidays, or very generic in your approach.
- Customize text, subject lines, and push notifications to connect directly with customers.
- Don’t be afraid to think outside the box.
For example, a last-minute holiday gift guide or subscriber-only offer or bundle could be just the thing to catch your shopper’s eye as they rush to check items off their holiday lists.
#2. Broaden your marketing and sales channels.
Diversifying your reach is important regardless of the season. But during Cyber 5, it matters even more. While it is a challenge to do extensive testing this time of year, you should be prepared to try something new.
Holiday shoppers are known to channel-hop to find the best offers. Many are experts at comparing in-app promos, third-party coupon codes, and in-store-only promotions to find the best possible deals.
So how do you know which channels to test or optimize?
McKinsey lays out three omnichannel options to consider — commerce, personalization, and ecosystem. Simply pick the track that best fits your customer needs and brand goals.
- Commerce: Cross-channel shopping experience between in-store and online. Example: BOPIS (buy online, pick up in store) options.
- Personalization: Tailored cross-channel engagement. Example: Customizable user experiences in online stores.
- Ecosystem: Multi-channel platforms integrated with consumer lifestyle and community. Example: Loyalty programs.
Whatever approach you choose, tailor your omnichannel experience to a holiday theme. Offer deals on exclusive gifting products, launch in-app holiday experiences, and utilize social media channels to foster a warm, one-on-one relationship with customers.
#3. Plan for increased traffic.
To keep up with the surge in traffic anticipated during the holiday season, your website needs to have the bandwidth to work fast. Think With Google reports that although mobile web traffic accounts for more total traffic than desktop, conversion rates are lower on mobile, with the biggest reason being slower load times.
As page load time goes from one second to ten, the probability of a mobile-user bouncing increases by 123%. Talk about short attention spans!
If you take time to do anything before Cyber 5, focus on revamping and restructuring your online interface, particularly mobile sites, by reducing image sizes and redirects to optimize the user experience. You can also make the user experience more seamless by:
- Testing all features on all devices (desktop, mobile, tablets) before launching to avoid any potential bugs.
- Simplifying the checkout process by automating coupon applications or saving customer info.
- Customizing all landing pages to highlight bestsellers and other high-traffic pages for faster, easier access.
#4. Customize your Cyber 5 products and offers.
When it comes to planning your Cyber 5 offers, one size doesn’t always fit all. In the modern world of e-commerce, personalized and themed offers work wonders for boosting sales.
But before you offer big discounts to outrun your competitors, double-check to make sure:
- Your holiday promos won’t greatly affect your profit margins.
- Your offers reflect your customer data. Gather insights via surveys and interviews asking which discounts are most likely to make a customer follow through on a purchase.
- You’re offering great shipping deals — 66% of consumers expect free shipping when making an online purchase.
Also, keep in mind that an increase in traffic or an offer on a less-desirable product won’t make it magically sell. Prioritize what your customers want.
#5. Last but not least, assess your risks.
Unforunately, the potential for supply chain disruptions is here to stay. While things may have improved since the griding halt that was 2020, businesses need to be prepared for anything.
Here are some things to keep in mind:
- Be on the lookout for early shoppers. With customers planning to start their holiday shopping earlier than usual as well, make sure you have enough inventory sooner rather than later.
- Check in on cash flow. Holiday costs add up. Whether it’s inventory, advertising, or hiring extra staff, keeping tabs on your budget can sometimes take a backseat during the busy holiday season. Make sure you have a strong cash flow plan to keep your holiday sales on track.
- Are your fulfillment partners ready for the rush? If you’re using third-party fulfillment, make sure to ship your inventory early. Also have a discussion with an account manager if you’re concerned. And have this conversation ASAP.
Making the Most of Cyber 5 2023
Whether you’re a new seller or a seasoned player, Cyber 5 weekend can be a great launching pad to not only make sales, but dramatically increase customer acquisition.
By offering great deals backed by a seamless customer experience, e-commerce merchants can scale their brands to whole new levels, all on the back of this one holiday shopping event.
“It was the end of last year, which is the busiest season for Amazon sellers, and I was working with a different online lender,” says Ibrahim Toure, serial e-commerce entrepreneur and owner of Sambi LLC. With just two days before Black Friday, Ibrahim needed cash fast in order to keep his Q4 inventory flowing.
“The lender took back their capital. I had two days to find money because Black Friday is the biggest day for online sales. For us, it’s also the biggest day for online purchases. So, I was shopping around for different partners who could provide the capital quickly.”
Fortunately, Ibrahim found SellersFi and was able to secure $200,000 in two days to buy more inventory and fuel his Cyber 5 sales. If you’re ready for flexible terms that help you grow without the fine print headaches and personal collateral, learn more about our e-commerce funding solutions today.